Pool Water Testing Services
Why Should You Test Your Pool Water?
Pool water testing is a vital part of routine pool maintenance. Knowing how to and routinely checking your pool water brings you one step closer to making your pool a safe place to swim. Failing to check your pool water can lead to unregulated pH levels or unhealthy pool water damaging your pool equipment. Without proper testing, it can lead to a combination where the water and chlorine aren’t at the appropriate chemical levels, leading to the chlorine becoming unhealthy for the skin, eyes, and organs if swallowed. Thankfully, there are several ways to check your pool water, and they include the following:
- Pool Test Strips – These fast and convenient pool water testing options check the total hardness, chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and stability. Using them is straightforward. You dip the test strip into the pool at elbow depth and away from any jets for approximately 15 seconds. Once removed, you compare the results against the chart provided.
- Liquid Pool Water Testing Kits – While these kits are a bit more complicated, they provide more accurate information than the test strips. They usually measure chlorine, pH, alkalinity, stabilizer, and hardness. To use them, follow all instructions packaged with the kit. Still, generally, you rinse the provided tubes and fill them with pool water to the designated lines. When that’s completed, you’ll add the right amount of solution into the water sample, gently shake it, and then compare the results to the chart provided.
- Digital Pool Testers – You’ll get accurate and fast results with these devices. They’re effortless to use and follow the same steps as the other kits. Insert the device elbow-deep in your pool while avoiding jets and floating chemical dispensers.
Importance of Regular Pool Water Testing
It’s possible that you probably won’t change your pool water for multiple years at a time due to continuous filtration and disinfection, removing containments that keep the water enjoyable. That doesn’t necessarily keep your pool water balanced. A balanced pool has a proper pH level, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Having properly balanced pool water is important as untested and untreated pool water can accumulate harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, among other health concerns. Further, unbalanced pool water can lead to equipment damage, costing you more in repair or replacement parts. Here are our recommendations on how often to test your water for a balanced pool:
- Free Chlorine – This chemical helps prevent bacteria and algae growth. We recommend testing two-to-three times a week, with an ideal range of one-to-four parts per million.
- pH – An vital chemical that helps prevent swimmer discomfort while improving chlorine’s effectiveness and protecting your pool equipment. We also recommend that this be checked two-to-three times a week with an ideal range of 7.2-7.6.
- Total Alkalinity – It’s designed to help prevent your pH levels from swinging in and out of range, and it’s recommended to be tested weekly, with an ideal range of 80-150 parts per million.
- Calcium Hardness – Calcium hardness is there to help prevent surface damage such as scale and corrosion. Our team recommends that it be tested monthly with an ideal range of 80 to 150 parts per million.
- Stabilizer – Finally, the stabilizer helps extend the life of chlorine by preventing chlorine burn-off from sunlight. Our recommendation is that it be tested two-to-three times per season with an ideal range of 30-150 parts per million.
When To Test Your Pool Water?
Common Pool Water Complications
Most homeowners would agree that having a pool is a great convenience and addition to their property. Pools can be a great source of exercise, socializing with friends and family, and more. However, a variety of issues can arise from pool water. Most of these can be observed visually or caught early with regular pool water testing. Maintaining the balance of your pool water is the most critical factor in having a clean and healthy pool. Staying on top of the chemical balance will help prevent problems such as algae or mold. Here are additional complications that can happen due to unbalanced pool water:
- Green Algae – One of the most common types of algae and also the easiest to remove. Algae are consistently entering your pool but will only begin to spread and multiply if the sanitizer chemical is below optimal levels.
- Brown and Cloudy Pool Water – Usually caused by sand, dust, or other containments, but an imbalance of chemicals can also cause it. It can lead to health problems, and we recommend testing your pool water, including pH, chlorine, calcium, and total alkalinity.
- Pink Slime and White Mold – Pink alga is a fungus that can affect pool water, creating pink, grey, or white colonies. If you find this, you’ll need to use a specialist algaecide to remove it.
- Clear Brown or Green Pool Water – If your pool water appears to be clear but has signs of green or brown tints, it’s usually a sign of excess levels of iron or copper in the water. They can stain pool surfaces and even a swimmer’s hair and nails. It can also be caused by contamination of fill water or corrosion of metal pool accessories.
- Pool Water Causing Burning Sensations – After a swim if you feel as if your eyes or throat are burning or stinging, it’s likely a complication with the alkalinity of your pool water or due to a high amount of acid in the pool ware. It’s recommended to check your pool’s pH and total alkalinity and adjust accordingly.
General Pool Water Testing Tips
Keeping everything in our guide to pool water testing can be complex. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some general tips when it comes to testing your pool water. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are unsure what to do next or how to work a specific testing kit. We’ll work with you or get you scheduled for a visit to help ensure you have the tools to keep your pool clean and safe. Here are our general pool water testing tips:
- If you’re using at-home testing kits, always follow the provided instructions.
- When you test your pool water, you should be testing free and total available chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium, and sanitizer.
- Accurate water tests are recommended before adding any chemicals.
- Always take your water sample from elbow depth.
- Store your testing materials in a cool dark area, and ensure they aren’t expired before testing.
- Getting the results from a test can take some time. Reviewing the instructions and being aware of any possible complications before testing is best.
Local Trusted Pool Water Experts Throughout Texas
Our goal with this guide to pool water testing is to provide our customers with a detailed and easy-to-follow list of how to test and care for their pool water properly. The highly trained team at Patriot Pool and Spa wants to provide a worry-free experience through our various cleaning, repair, and consultation services. A smart customer is a good customer, and we want to share our expertise on how a pool works and what it requires. If, on the off chance, you need additional help or advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. With multiple locations throughout the Austin, Dallas, and Southlake areas, we’ll work with you to provide accessible, safe, and effortless results.
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